Nearly three years ago, Senior CommUnity Meals, a division of Volunteers of America, announced that it could no longer serve lunch meals five days a week at the Delta Senior Center due to budget constraints. Meal service was reduced to three days a week -- Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The volunteers at the Senior Center recognized the burden this would place on many of the elder citizens of Delta who rely on the nutrition and the camaraderie the meals at noon provide. The Delta Senior Citizen board of directors decided that the Senior Center would provide meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with volunteer resources and the expertise of senior participants to cook and serve those meals. The beginnings were humble and focused on serving a lunch primarily of soup and sandwiches. With a suggested donation of $3 for each meal, the Senior Center has strived to simply break even on this endeavor. To increase participation, the Senior Center provides meal tickets for participants that provide a free lunch for every five lunches purchased. That in effect, lowers the cost to a $2.50 donation per meal. No one is turned away regardless of their ability to make a donation.
As the program evolved, volunteer Thom Wheeler assumed the duties of head cook for Tuesdays and Thursdays and as participation increased, the menus for lunch became more varied and substantial. When Wheeler moved away, Jo Ann Hatch assumed the duties of head cook, bringing years of expertise to the kitchen to the benefit of the program. Senior CommUnity Meals will begin asking for a donation of $3.50 on Oct. 1 for meals served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Senior Center meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays will remain at a $3 donation.
The menu for October is as follows:
Oct. 2 -- Chicken and noodles, tossed salad, homemade roll and butter cookie.
Oct. 4 -- Meatloaf, baked potato, peas, homemade roll and apple crisp.
Oct. 9 -- Taco Tuesday, Spanish rice and cinnamon roll.
Oct. 11 -- Beef stroganoff, noodles, California vegetables, homemade roll and applesauce cake.
Oct. 16 -- Chili, tossed salad, cornbread and brownies.
Oct. 18 -- Spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans, French bread and chocolate cake.
Oct. 23 -- Vegetable beef soup, egg salad sandwich and peaches.
Oct. 25 -- Taco salad, green beans and fruit cocktail.
Oct. 30 -- Spanish casserole, mixed vegetables, homemade roll and peach cobbler.
The Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Thrift Shop in the center is open from 10 a.m. until 2 PM. Lunch is served at noon in the hall. Donation for lunch is $3.50 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, $3 on Tuesday and Thursday for those 60 years old and older. All are welcome.